Tag Archives: Social media

Snapchat’s New Spectacles

Remember Snap’s Spectacles? Launched in fall, 2016, Spectacles were fashionable sunglasses that could record 30-second videos with a 115 degree lens. The specs were $130 and initially sold only through fun, bright yellow, SnapBot kiosks placed around the U.S. There was a lot of hype and fervor from teens to procure the sunglasses and post their videos. Roughly 220,000 Spectacles were sold, but only half of the owners used them after the first month, and Snap took a $40 million write-off after making too many. But, the company learned a lot from its first foray with Spectacles, and is now ready for the next iteration.

So, get ready for Spectacles Version 2. The new glasses are priced at $149.99 and have a number of new features and improvements over version 1. The case is smaller and handier to carry around, and it charges the glasses up to four times. The glasses are lighter and more comfortable and the field of vision has been reduced to 105 degrees. In addition to video, the glasses now take photos – which of course can be posted online.

Colors are new and more neutral with two lens versions, and the pairing process is much simpler than version 1. High quality photos and fast downloads improve the overall user experience. The glasses are now water resistant and can even take photos underwater. Spectacles are now on sale in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, to be followed by 13 more European countries.

Fortunately, no more SnapBot vending machines to limit purchases – it’s easy to buy since all that’s needed is to go online to Snap to purchase. It really is a wearable camera.

Go ahead – smile, you’re on Spectacles!h

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the strategy that Snap is using to position itself as a camera/hardware company rather than a social media company.
  2. Show the Web site: https://www.spectacles.com/
  3. Show a product review video: https://youtu.be/DRqZoINHCwM
  4. A short product video: https://youtu.be/Qpbyj-hz05s
  5. Pricing is usually a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  6. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  7. What price strategy is Snap using for Spectacles version 2?
  8. How does this compare with version 1? Will this be successful?

Source: Constine, J. (26 April 2018). Snapchat launches Spectacles V2, camera glasses you’ll actually wear. TechCrunch.

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Are Followers Real or Fake?

Marketers are under increasing pressure to increase a brand’s number of followers. Of course, marketers want the followers to be real and involved, but what if that isn’t possible? Well, there are companies that sell followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. However, all is not as it seems. Many companies sell the names, profiles, pictures, and other details of real users, but with some variations, and unbeknownst to the actual user who is being impersonated. The result: fake users are sold to many companies to help increase the tweets, retweets, likes, etc.

All social media platforms seem to be infected with fake users. According to a recent article in the New York Times, nearly 15% of Twitter’s active users (48 million) are actually automated accounts that simulate a real person. And, in November 2017, Facebook stated to investors that it has twice as many fake users than it had previously estimated, bringing the count to roughly 60 million fake accounts.

The fake accounts are known as ‘bots’ and can be used to build audiences and influence opinions. The bots are purchased for the purpose of increasing the followers, and thus the influence of the person or brand purchasing the bots. Bots can be programmed to post at a scheduled time, monitor trends and post as needed, and amplify clients’ accounts by following, retweeting, and like tweets.

Which would you rather have: real, engaged followers or bots that are not engaged?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Begin by having students read recent news articles about fake users. Here is an article by the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/100000005704904.app.html?emc=edit_ta_20180127&nl=top-stories&nlid=65703977&ref=cta
  2. Why is this an issue in digital marketing?
  3. How does the topic of “fake users” impact the marketplace?
  4. Should companies/brands “buy” followers? Why or why not?
  5. How valuable are followers in digital marketing?
  6. What would you do if told to increase followers? Would you buy them?
  7. Have students go online and research “how to buy followers.” What are their findings?

Source: Confessore, N., Dance, G., Harris, R., & Hansen, M. (27 January, 2018). The follower factory. New York Times.

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TED Talk: China and the Future of Shopping

We all know that technology has changed the shopping experience. Instead of going into brick-and-mortar stores, or in addition to going into brick-and-mortar stores, shoppers now turn to PCs and mobile devices. Not only that, technology has changed our shopping behavior even when we are IN a store. This is true world-wide, but the future of shopping is here today in China.

In this TED Talks video, Angela Wang, a retail expert with firm BCG, explores the broad range of shopping services available online in China. In China, everything takes place on smart phones; 500 million Chinese consumers regularly use their mobile devices for purchasing goods and services. Think about that number – 500 million people. As Wang states, that is the combined population of the U.S., U.K, and Germany! And, all this has happened in only the last five years.

China’s technology firms are also powerhouses. Alibaba and Tencent own 90% of China’s e-commerce market, 85% of its social media, 85% of its Internet payments, along with diverse digital content, video, movies, literature, gaming and more.

Key trends that Wang sees in China shopping patterns are a growth in spontaneity, co-creation of products, ultra-convenience, and social shopping. Using WeChat, the mobile shopping journey in China far surpasses the U.S.

Marketers can learn a lot of lessons from this informative talk.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss with students that while the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process is problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. Is this still the correct model?
  2. Discuss the changes that the students have made in their own shopping behavior. How do they use mobile devices to shop? Map the journey on the board.
  3. Show the TED Talk video. Make sure students pay attention to the end of the talk when the shopping journey is explained (9:00 minute mark): https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_wang_how_china_is_changing_the_future_of_shopping/transcript
  4. How does the Chinese shopping journey compare to the traditional U.S. consumer model?
  5. For a product, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps in the traditional model. Then have them work out the steps of the Chinese model.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: TED Talks

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